The country's top watchdog for food and drug safety wants to
make it mandatory for producers to recall defective, unsafe drugs
and medical devices.
If producers do not carry out the recalls on their own, the
government will order a recall and fine the producer up to three
times the value of the products, according to a draft regulation
published on the website of the State Food and Drug Administration
(SFDA) on Thursday.
The regulation states that producers must inform the public and
retailers if it is revealed their products are unsafe.
Retailers also must stop selling the products immediately or
they will face a fine of up to 50,000 yuan ($6,600).
If producers fail to voluntarily recall their products, which
then lead to serious public harm, they will have their production
licenses revoked and be subject to criminal charges, according to
In addition, drugs and medical devices to be exported must meet
the standards of the market countries.
A blacklist of the shoddy manufacturers will be made public.
The SFDA is calling for public comment on the draft
Yan Jiangying, SFDA's spokeswoman, said at a Thursday press
conference that the draft regulation was designed to strengthen the
State Council Special Regulations on the Safety Supervision and
Administration of Food and Other Products, issued last month.
She said the Special Regulations intensified the punishment for
illegal acts and reinforced the responsibility of supervisors.
"It (the Special Regulations) also introduces some new polices,
such as a recall system," she said.
"In response to that, we'll issue detailed regulations and
establish a management system."
Yan said China did recall unsafe drugs in the past, but it was
done "case by case" without a sound system. She also revealed that
the country would invest 8.8 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) to upgrade
the infrastructure of a number of drug and food safety testing
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection
and Quarantine earlier said it would release the country's first
regulation on unsafe food recalls by the end of the year.
These latest moves follow a spate of safety scares concerning
made-in-China products. Reports have revealed isolated cases of
contaminated food additives, unsafe toothpaste, seafood, toys and
even tires, and affected global confidence in Chinese products.
Premier Wen Jiabao said China would face the problems
squarely and make consistent efforts to improve product quality.
However, Wen also noted that China did not support media hype and
was against trade protectionism and discrimination.
(China Daily August 11, 2007)